Last April, commenter Nagucci asked me to write a review on pink pineapples, which had just appeared on the scene in Toronto. Here in cow🤠town, we seem to get the cool trendy stuff a few months behind Ontario, but the Pinkglow® pink pineapple has finally surfaced at my local Costco. So I picked one up and here are my thoughts on it. My goal is to answer the question: does the taste justify the price? (This post is not sponsored in any way.)
The price for these pink pineapples seem to have gone down a bit since they were first released. (They were originally sold for $49 USD, and a price of $39.99 CAD was reported in Toronto last year.)
However, currently they’re still more than double the price of a regular yellow pineapple. At my Costco, regular pineapples were being sold for $4.99 while the Pinkglow pineapples were $10.99 each. For prices of pink pineapples in your local area, check out Where to Buy in Canada and Where to Buy in USA.
The Pinkglow pineapples are also noticeably smaller than their yellow counterparts. Both pineapples were from Costa Rica, so I imagine the shipping/import costs were similar.
I don’t blame them for marking up the price, though; this thing apparently took 16 years of R&D to create, so they’ve got to recover the development costs somehow.
Packaging & Presentation
The packaging of these pineapples is very simple and minimal: just a strip of paper labelling it as a Pinkglow® pineapple. I’ve seen some posts online that seem to indicate it can come in a fancy pink box, but at the Costco, they were just piled haphazard on crates like any other fruit.
I also find it interesting that they proudly state on the label that the pink pineapple is a product of bioengineering. Genetically engineered food has gained a bad rep in recent years (undeserved imo), and maybe the Pinkglow is an attempt to improve that public image. I’m sure my biotech profs would be pretty happy if people become less afraid of GMOs because of this fruit.
You may also have noticed that pink pineapples don’t have the bushy spiky crowns that fresh pineapples usually come with. I quite like this feature. Sure, it’s less aesthetically pleasing, because pineapples without crowns look kinda… bald, but they’re easier to transport and they don’t tear up your grocery bags.
According to Del Monte, the company that grows these fruits, the crowns have to be removed because they are replanted to grow the next crop of pineapples. Cynically, I feel like this is done to stop people from planting the crowns at home. If everyone can grow their own pink pineapples, that would undermine the exclusivity of the product.
History of the Pink Pineapple
Del Monte says it took 16 years to bring this fruit to market. Locals in South and Central America have grown pineapples for thousands of years, and in fact Del Monte cultivates these pink pineapples in Costa Rica, which is one of the world’s major suppliers of all pineapples.
I couldn’t find any information on the 5head that first brought up the idea of growing and selling a pink pineapple, or how that person was able to convince Del Monte execs that this was a good idea. I really wonder how that meeting would have gone, and just why the company decided to pursue a pink pineapple project of all things.
(An alternate theory I saw on a YouTube comment was that the R&D team were originally researching about something else, and ended up creating a pink pineapple as a “happy accident.” Which seems way more plausible tbh.)
At the moment, you can only buy this fruit in the United States or Canada. Both the FDA and Health Canada have approved this pink pineapple as being “as safe and nutritious as its conventional counterparts.”
Because it’s a new GMO product, they would likely need to get approval from the food safety authorities in any country they want to sell to.
A Look at the Science
No, the pink colour doesn’t come from being dyed. It’s due to a molecule that occurs naturally in many fruits: LYCOPENE. Per the FDA, “lycopene is the pigment that makes tomatoes red and watermelons pink, so it is commonly and safely consumed.” Lycopene exists naturally in pineapples as well, but pineapples also contain enzymes that convert the lycopene into another molecule, beta carotene, which is gives them their yellow colour. So the Del Monte scientists engineered a pineapple that expresses lower levels of this enzyme, in order to prevent the conversion of lycopene into beta carotene. Thus, with high levels of lycopene and lower beta carotene, the pineapple stays pink.
I was impressed with how my pink pineapple tasted. It was perfectly ripe, super juicy, sweet and not sour. In short… like a high quality yellow pineapple. Both of my parents said it tasted like a very sweet regular pineapple.
However—and this was the biggest plus for me—I didn’t experience that tingling sensation in my mouth that I usually get with pineapple. I usually have to soak freshly sliced pineapple in salt water to reduce the weird feeling. That perception of burning and tingling is caused by another group of enzymes called bromelain which breaks down proteins, including the proteins in your mouth. That’s why pineapple is know as the fruit that eats back!
It turns out the Pinkglow pineapple contains less of this enzyme, which explains why I didn’t get the usual burning sensation when I dug into the freshly cut pieces, even though I didn’t salt them first. (I swear, I didn’t know about this until I started researching for this post, which was long after I already ate the pineapple. So it’s not all placebo okay?!)
Aside from that and the pink colour, the pink pineapple is like any other pineapple. It also behaves the same in recipes.
This is a cooking blog after all, so I wanted to try making some desserts that would showcase the vibrancy of this pink fruit.
Since I bought a single pineapple, I only had the chance to try it with two recipes. First, I attempted a vintage jello thing that I saw on /r/Old_Recipes. I used a spare can I had lying around and made my own “lime jello” with lime juice and agar powder. Unfortunately, I guess I didn’t leave enough room for the agar to set, or maybe the concentration wasn’t strong enough, because it kind of fell apart when I tried to remove it from the can. It was still tasty—pineapple and lime is a refreshing combination—but not pretty to look at.
After that failure, I recovered some of the leftover pineapple, and used those pieces plus the pineapple core to make a pineapple pie. Interestingly, the colour deepened from pale pink into an intense, orange-reddish hue after slowly heating it on the stove for around 20 minutes. I was hoping to release this recipe in time for Valentine’s Day, but I went through a really busy semester of school so I only got around to posting it in May. Well, there’s always next Valentine’s right?! You can find the recipe for pink pineapple pie here.
Yeah, I know people shit on this pineapple for its price and frivolity. As one food scientist complained, “We are buying a $49 pink pineapple and spending 16 years researching how to genetically engineer a pink pineapple and talk about privilege and First-world problems.” Also, Del Monte has gone pretty hard on the Instagram marketing which definitely turns off some customers.
But it makes a pretty cool gift or a neat centerpiece at a party. After all, when pineapples first became popular in 18th century Europe, Europeans used them as decorative table displays for dinner parties. There were even pineapple rentals for people who couldn’t afford to buy one outright. So we’ve really come full circle on this pineapple luxury issue LOL.
Overall, I think the current price of $10.99 for one of these pink pineapples is reasonable. Am I gonna buy another one? Not for a while, and that’s partly because I’m not a huge fan of pineapple in the first place. But like the shine muscat grapes, another expensive but delicious fruit, they’re worth the occasional splurge.
Where to Buy in Canada
Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec: You can find pink pineapples in Costco for $10.99.
Toronto, Ontario: Available at Loblaw’s and WinCo.
Where to Buy in USA
Alabama: Parkway Farmers Market in Opelika.
California: Pink pineapples are available at The 99¢ Store for $10.
Florida: Sighted at the Marion County Flea Market in Belleview, selling for $10. They are also available at the Dixie Harvest fruit market in Homosassa for $7. In Jacksonville, you can find them at Freshfield Farms for $7.99.
Missouri: Found in Columbia at Hy-Vee for $10.99 each.
Rhode Island: Sold at Dave’s Market in East Greenwich for $9.99.
If you’ve seen the Pinkglow pink pineapple for sale in your city, please leave a comment so I can update this post to include more locations.
Thank you to Bee, Cherrilyn, Charli, Coral, Dawn, Elyse, Eric, and other anonymous commenters for reporting the prices for Pinkglow pineapple in their local area!
Any other foods you want me to review? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to find it in the stores here.
27 thoughts on “PinkGlow® Pink Pineapple Review: Worth the Price?”
pink pineapples in Texas at the Fort Worth Farmers Market!
Pink Pineapples are available at Parkway Farmers Market in Opelika, Al. March 2023
Thanks, Jane! Do you remember what the price was?
I’m from Jacksonville, FL. I just bought my pink pineapple from Freshfield Farms on University for $7.99. Looking forward to sharing it with my little nephew 🙂
Thanks Bee, I’ve added your intel to the Where to Buy section! What did you two think of the pink pineapple?
What are the benefits of pineapple?
It is Belleview Fl. I’m laughing as I type this because I hate when people correct my writing. But I have this uncontrollable need to reply with the correct spelling. Thank you for your article though I will be gathering the ingredients for the pink pineapple pie!!!!
Haha thank you for correcting me, I’ve updated the post Don’t know how my brain got Bellevue!
Dave’s Market in East Greenwich, RI has Pinkglow for $9.99
Thank you! Updated the post with your information
Bromolain in pineapple, papain in papaya and actinidin in kiwi are all enzymes capable of breaking down proteins, hence the warning that these fruits cannot be used in Jell-O. But canned fruits are fine because the pasteurization process they undergo destroys the proteolytic enzymes.
*gelatin. Could it have had the same effect with your experience with the agar?
Absolutely, you’re probably right that’s the most likely reason. I’ve been meaning to try the recipe again using canned pineapple, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Found at Columbia, MO HyVee for 10.99. the pineapple caught my eye. I didn’t get one because of the price.
Awesome, thanks Charli. Updated the post with your information. It’s definitely a pricy one, hopefully prices will come down in the coming years.
Interesting. When I was in the army in the army in mid 90’s I served with a gentleman who had grown up in Hawaii and worked through his teen years at Dole (I think). He talked about how every so often on the production line they would find a pink pineapple and set it aside for employees to enjoy. He spoke of them as a special treat that never made it out of the building.
That memory is why I looked up pink pineapples today and what led me here. So I am surprised to see they are an engineered product of Del Monte.
Wow, that’s something I never heard anywhere else before. Maybe these naturally-occurring pink pineapples were the inspiration for Del Monte’s engineering efforts. I’ve always wondered what compelled them to create a pink pineapple of all things!
I found them at the Dixie fruit market in Homosassa,FL for $7.00! I bought the first one by accident, just grabbing a pineapple, but refused to act “cheap” when I found out the price. tried it, loved it, went back three more times before they ran out. waiting patiently for more.
Lol I’m glad your accidental purchase led to you discovering a new fruit you love. It’s really quite different from regular pineapple isn’t it? I’ve also updated this post with your price info, thanks Eric!
I found this pineapple at the Marion County Flea Market in Bellevie FL. I tried a piece, to me it tasted like a less acidic pineapple and pink grapefruit but very sweet.The price was $10 I was told that they are only grown in Costa Rica and the cut the tops off so nobody else can grow it!
You described the taste exactly in my opinion. And yes, I think that’s the real reason for cutting off the tops as well 🤭
Thanks for including the price, I will add a Florida section to this post.
Montreal – Quebec Canada. Just bought one. Price was not showing so I didn’t know it was 10,99$😄
Thank you Elyse! I update this post to include Montreal. Glad that the price hasn’t changed at Costco even in these times of inflation.
I haven’t eaten it yet. I just bought the PINKGLOW PINEAPPLE yesterday; at the .99 in Southern California for $10. I had never seen or even heard if such a fruit.
I’d love to hear what you think of the taste. Let me know your thoughts once you try it! I’ve also added your comment to the Where to Buy section of this post, thanks for the info on the prices over in California.
Burnaby Costco Canada $10.99 in Aug 2022
Thanks Coral I’ve updated the “Where to Buy” section with your info!